Sony has today launched its Bravia Core streaming service that offers over 300 movies in "near lossless UHD BD equivalent quality with streaming up to 80 Mbps".
"Highest streaming picture quality"
Sony Electronics and Sony Pictures made waves when they unveiled Bravia Core at CES 2021 and promised "UHD BD equivalent quality". The new streaming service launches today but only on high-end Sony 2021 TVs, so-called "Bravia XR" models.
- "We bring together the best filmmakers and the best actors and deliver the resultant feature films to consumers through the brilliance of Sony technology and the brilliance of our televisions. The BRAVIA CORE video service, included with every new BRAVIA XR TV, delivers the ultimate at-home viewing experience," said Keith Le Goy, President, Worldwide Distribution and Networks, Sony Pictures Television.
Customers who purchase Sony A90J or Z9J will receive 10 movie credits (all other models will come with 5 movie credits) that can be redeemed on over 300 new or recent movies including Venom, Peter Rabbit, Ghostbusters, Blade Runner 2049 and Jumanji: The Next Level.
In addition, owners will be subscribed to a separate "selection of movies to stream any time and as many times as they like, in up to 4K HDR quality" called 'Unlimited Streaming'. A90J and Z9J will include 24 months of access while other 2021 models will include 12 months of access. It is not clear what happens after the trial period.
Sony refers to the "UHD BD equivalent quality" streaming as Pure Stream. It supports up to 80 Mb/s bitrates, which compares well to UHD Blu-ray. Before Bravia Core, Apple TV+ provided the best streaming quality with 40+ Mb/s peak bitrates.
- "BRAVIA CORE features Pure Stream which offers streaming between 30 Mbps – 80 Mbps. To access Pure Stream at 30 Mbps, you must have a minimum internet speed of 43 Mbps. To access highest quality Pure Stream available at 80 Mbps you must have a minimum internet speed of 115 Mbps," explained Sony.
Bravia Core on Sony 2021 TVs
IMAX Enhanced - but no DTS:X
Bravia Core will offer access the largest selection of 'IMAX Enhanced' movies including Spider-Man: Far from Home, Little Women, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Bad Boys For Life, and Baby Driver.
- "IMAX Enhanced is the best way to experience blockbuster entertainment outside of the movie theatre. We worked closely with Sony Pictures and DTS to remaster over 50 IMAX Enhanced titles that deliver the highest-fidelity image and sound on a Sony BRAVIA XR device. We’re thrilled to continue expanding the IMAX Enhanced collection on BRAVIA CORE, and can’t wait to bring more of what consumers love about IMAX to best-in-class streaming content and entertainment devices," said Bruce Markoe, Head of IMAX Post, IMAX Corporation.
What is IMAX Enhanced? No one really knows for sure. Sometimes it includes the expanded IMAX aspect ratio but not always. Sometimes IMAX Enhanced 4K releases are in HDR10+ format and other times in the HDR10 base format. The companies involved previously said that it also uses "a special variant of the DTS:X codec technology" but many IMAX Enhanced compatible devices (including Sony TVs) lack support for DTS:X. Bravia Core does not support DTS:X either.
Sony TVs support Dolby Vision HDR but content from Bravia Core will be presented in maximum HDR10.
FlatpanelsHD is currently reviewing the Sony A90J OLED TV and will include thoughts on Bravia Core in our full review that will be published later.
Sony said that Bravia Core is now available on all "Bravia XR" 2021 TVs in 50 territories including North America and Europe. The company has not announced plans to bring the service to previous models.